V olume 4, Issue 6 | February 2018
Calendar Highlights

Here are some upcoming important dates. 
  • March 14-17th - MMUN Conference
  • March 29th - 12pm dismissal (aftercare is provided)
  • March 30th - No School, Good Friday
Click Here for our Google Calendar.
Message from Matt Simberg, M.Ed.
 
Dear Parents,

As you will read in the articles from all the programs you will notice a vast amount of activities that the children have participated in. February was a wonderful month with many rich learning experiences. Between the celebration of Black History Month, 100 days of school, the read-a-thon, the therapy dog, Lincoln and Washington's Birthday, it was so much fun to create these memories with and for your children.

I also want to express my gratitude for the feedback and support received from so many parents regarding the announcement of the new property and the process we are going through to make this happen in as timely a fashion as possible. You can expect an email from me in the next few days answering all of the questions from all of the emails that I have received after our communication last week. There are several balls rolling and a handful of professionals meeting deadlines to make this as smooth a transition as possible. Everything should be done by next Friday. Final reviews should happen the following week, by the end of the day that Friday. I look forward to sharing good news with everyone.

In the last newsletter I mentioned about doing something differently and acknowledging that experience. I noticed that transitions and clean up were getting too hectic. Not enough children were cooperating or participating. So, I observed what was going on and made a change. I had a list made up and grouped children based on personality types and age. Things have gone more smoothly and clean up time has become shorter. Sometimes it is just a matter of taking a step back, breathing, observing and trying something different.

This is becoming a very exciting time of year for so many reasons, not to mention the many tours and visitors we are having and the enthusiasm of having more families wanting to join our community. I look forward to continuing to share good news with you. As always, thank you for your support, feedback and open communication.


Sincerely,


Matthew Simberg, M.Ed.
Head of School
 
Montikids

MSOE has recently partnered with Montikids to offer our parents of infants some great resources in preparation for our Toddler program. Mr. Matt connected with this organization while at the Refresher Course in Arizona. Participating with this company is intended to strengthen the bond and understanding between child and parents if their child is not enrolled in a Montessori Toddler Program and to further the efforts of collaboration if their child is enrolled in a toddler program. 

Click here for their website.

Toddler Update

Dear Parents,

I hope all of you are staying warm and healthy through our last month of the winter season. Speaking of which, we have introduced the four seasons concept in our Language Area, as we are preparing for (and looking forward to) Springtime!

Our Toddler Class was all about love and hearts this month!

February brought our Toddlers to focus further on Grace and Courtesy.  In light of Valentine's Day, we discussed that we can show the ones we love how we feel about them by being kind, loving and respectful and we talked about ways they can do that. 

We also talked about how we can love ourselves! We discussed how all of them are very important and special!  The toddlers learned that eating healthy, keeping our bodies clean and brushing our teeth are all ways we show that we care about ourselves!  

We continued this concept though loving and caring for our environment. Our Practical Life area focused on how we can take care of our classroom environment that we love by keeping it clean and taking care of our plants. 

We celebrated Valentine's Day by making a special treat for our cooking/food tasting activity. The children made their own yogurt covered strawberries, which they all thought was "Yummy"!

In honor of Presidents' Day we introduced a coin sorting work using pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. 

We have already been in school more than 100 Days!  The children enjoyed doing some special
artwork on the 100th Day of School to commemorate that day!

Some of the toddlers joined the Primary class as a very nice woman named Dot gave a presentation with her  therapy dog, Zach. The children absolutely loved petting Zach!

In closing, a special Thank you goes out to Caden's mother, Vivian Bea, who came into our  school to read a book and to help us celebrate Black History Month.

Best Regards,
Ms. Chris 


Primary Update

"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education." -Dr. Martin Luther King


Dear Primary Parents,

I hope that all of you had a wonderful month. While February is a short month, it was in no shortage of activity! Many thanks for those who participated and contributed to the many opportunities we all had in our classroom. The children had many meaningful experiences this month.

We started off February by launching into the 100th day of school! The children brought in a plethora of item's, whether it be rubber balls, marshmallows, Lego's, toothpicks, puzzle pieces, pennies, pomegranate seeds and paper cranes etc... As a group we collectively illustrated and discussed the concept of quantity. Also, we shared some of the highlights with each other on what these hundred days of school have been like together this year.

Subsequently, the children had many opportunities of true stories centered around black history month. Mrs. Mary came into our classroom and talked about Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad. We also read books and sang songs about many Black Americans who have made an impact on our country such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and George Washington Carver to name a few.  Additionally, we had a special speaker, Dr. Bea (Caden's mom), come in to share with the children a wonderful presentation that illustrated beautiful pictures of Africa, and told the children stories of Sojourner Truth and Nelson Mandela.

During the course of the month, the children had many experiences of sharing sentiments of love with each other as well. Beginning with a very special valentine's day celebration. All the children brought in cards and items of the heart for each classmate which were exchanged during the morning gathering. In addition, many children have periodically brought in treasured books inspired by the read-a-thon!

In closing, we ended the month of February with a visit from an adorable therapy dog named  Zach. The children loved petting Zach. They also took turns reading the book "Millions of Cats" by Wanda Gag to the dog. Soon after the visit, we honored the Chinese New Year by reading books to children and making crafts. All and all it's been a pretty extraordinary month. As always, we look forward to continuing to have more opportunities for growth and learning with your children!
 
Best Regards,
 
Mr. Carl and Ms. Anne




Elementary Update
     
Dear Parents,
 
This past month was packed with so many different experiences from celebrating 100 days of  school, Black History Month, to Ms. Mary giving presentations celebrating Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, the read-a-thon, the therapy dog visiting, and a variety of work done by the class. We even got a new student, Akiva, who has been a great addition to the  classroom.

The children have experienced more science and music lessons, and there has been a broader depth of history lessons with the book I am reading, "How We Got to Now." I am enjoying reading this book too, and it is helping me to present ideas like never give up on your dream. Concepts evolve, and sometimes they take 50 years to do so. For example, one of the lessons has to do with the concept of cold, transporting ice and how that led to refrigeration systems and our refrigerators. The children are given a chance to take a step back, think about the world around them from different time periods and things that they take for granted in the present time.

There has been work on grace and courtesy and conflict resolution too. We have had a lot of tours over the past month. Parents are so impressed with what they have observed your children doing. One child might want to ask or tell me something when I am speaking with a parent. They will wait, when they find a break, say excuse me and then wait for a response. The parents are blown away and comment on it. Maybe parents and Ms. Patty are standing near the doorway and a child needs to get through. The child says, "excuse me." The parent will come up to me later and say, "I can't believe that just happened; they are so polite." I love it. Even Ms. Chris commented on the number of children that will acknowledge her in the morning, and initiate saying good morning and shake her hand. Children whose parents would not think would speak up to express what they think is fair or the right thing during a certain situation will voice their opinion in a polite way and what they are saying makes so much sense and/or I think to myself, "wow, that is something I would say, or I could not have said it better myself." The children are really learning to be a part of their community. It is their community and I am just a Guide that is there, observing and participating in it. I love it!

It is amazing to watch a classroom evolve. We had so many children who did not have experience in a Montessori classroom. They are all coming together to form a beautifully fu nctioning microcosm.

The older elementary children are getting ready to participate in the Montessori Model United Nations Conference in March and we are excited to try a new program for the students to manage field trips and Going Outs. So much to look forward to in the coming month. Hopefully it won't go as fast as February.




Aftercare at MSOE

In order to support the overall mission of Montessori Seeds of Education, the Before and Aftercare Program is an extension of the child's school day in terms of philosophy, but not necessarily activity. The program's mission is to provide a fun and engaging change of pace that encourages free and organized play.
 
Our Aftercare Program is an impactful part of many of our students' day. The children in Aftercare typically have a great time outdoors! We love when the weather is nice and we can stay outside! The children love playing with the playground balls and bubbles (Thank you to the Haas family for the donation of a whole jug of bubble soap, a fun yoga game and a really cool bean bag toss game!) The sidewalk chalk is also a big hit!! We also play with jumpers (kind of like a pogo stick trainer made of foam). 

Most of all, the children love exploring and using their imaginations. They love identifying thedifferent birds that fly overhead including hawks, falcons, turkeys, and bluejays. They are always fascinated by the variety of aircrafts including planes and helicopters as well. Finding and describing the moon are great pastimes. Sometimes a curious insect crosses our path and we observe, for example, the migratory patterns of the blister beetle, being careful not to hurt or squeeze it. We discover and identify various seeds and berries, pinecones and leaves as well. 

Aftercare offers a great opportunity to learn how to participate in free play where the children make up their own games. Often times it's a silly giggle  party or an imaginative game with dynamic characters and story lines. In keeping with the Montessori philosophy there is always interwoven the lessons and practice of independence, interdependence, respect, conflict resolution, grace and courtesy, good communication skills and mindfulness which is applicable for toddlers through adolescents who stay for our Aftercare Program.   

Sometimes the weather does not permit us to stay outside, or the children simply prefer to spend some time indoors for a change. We also have so much fun inside with a vast array of manipulatives, drawings and coloring, songs, and of course books.

With daylight savings time coming, I am sure that we will be able to spend even more time outdoors. Please have your children dress appropriately, especially with regard to rain boots when there are puddles outside! Children are always attracted to those puddles. Also, if there are any suggestions for other activities for the group, please feel free to let us know!

-The MSOE Aftercare staff


Yoga with Mrs. Tiff

The children seem to be embracing a more traditional yoga practice without the need for themes and child-friendly names for postures, which is really great! I love to practice yoga with kids in a kid-friendly way, but that is typically for kids who haven't quite grasped the concept of mindfulness or the general concept of the practice of yoga. But since the children are seeming to really understand, it's allowed us to go to a deeper level during our time together. This isn't to say that the class is quiet and serious as you would experience in an adult yoga class -- we still act silly and have fun!  

As we move through the rest of the year, I am hoping to introduce some of the larger yogic teachings. After all, the postures are only one of the "Eight Limbs of Yoga". Yoga is a way of life based on a philosophy that is perhaps thousands of years old. "Yoga", as most of us know it, is only a fraction of what it means to practice yoga. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the practice, I thought I would share with you a quick summary of what those "Eight Limbs" are all about. I believe that in today's world, it is becoming evermore important for our children to have some understanding of how to deal with the pressures of growing up. And I believe with all of my heart that yoga and mindfulness can help our children grow to their fullest potential. 

The Eight Limbs of Yoga
1. Yamas -- There are five Yamas: non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, self-restraint, non-covetousness
2. Niyamas -- There are five Niyamas: cleanliness, contentment, creating heat within the body, studying self, and surrendering to God ("god" means many different things)
3. Asana -- The postures. We practice gaining control over our bodies. 
4. Pranayama -- Breath control. We practice gaining control of our breath. 
5. Pratyahara -- Learning to control the senses. This practice helps us to create space between what happens to or around us and our reactions to them. 
6. Dharana -- the practice of settling the mind, or concentration
7. Dhyana -- The practice of contemplation, or meditation. 
8. Samadhi -- This is the ultimate goal of a complete yoga practice. The practitioner comes to a place of connection to all living things; it is a release from the idea of self. 

I look forward to exploring these ideas with your children as we move beyond the postures and breathwork of which they are already familiar. If anyone has any questions regarding the practice of yoga, please feel free to reach out to me at any time. 
 
 
-Ms. Tiff

STEM Scouts Update

Elementary STEM

Elementary STEM has now completed the "What's the Matter!?" module. We learned that the three main types of matter are in the form of solids, liquids and gas (our bodies are made of all three!). We discovered by exploring that solids are things that can be measured, weighed and even categorized by shape. Liquids take the shape of whatever container they are in but still can be weighed and measured by volume, whereas gas has no shape or weight. We had a little fun demonstrating the characteristics of the molecules of each form of matter with our bodies (slight vibration for solids, wavey movement for liquids and just flying all around for gas!) Finally, we saw, through observation, that matter can change from one form to another like dissolving a solid in a liquid or changing a liquid to a gas. And the discovery was realizing all of these experiments happen everyday right in our own kitchens! Geology is next, "Rock On!"




















Holistic Health & Nutrition with Mrs. Jamie

Spring is just around the corner. That means the weather is going to get nicer and the sun will be out longer. Take advantage and find some time to go outside and maybe even have a picnic with your kids. Some time between watching March Madness, celebrating St. Patty's Day and turning the clocks forward, try out this fun and simple recipe with the little ones. It's even St. Patty's Day themed!





Fruit Kebabs with Green Leprechaun Yogurt Dip 

Ingredients 
Bananas 
Strawberries
Kiwi
Grapes
Oranges

3 Tbsp. - Sun Butter 
1½ Tbsp. - Honey
6 oz. - Vanilla Yogurt

Directions 
1.  Cut fruit into ½ - 1-inch cubes or balls.
2.  Place fruit onto skewers. You can create your own kebab design.
3.  In a bowl, mix together sun butter, honey, and vanilla yogurt.
4.  Blend together yogurt and 1 kiwi to serve as dipping sauce 
5.  Carefully construct your kebabs and enjoy!



Thanks!
Ms. Jamie
 Montessori Seeds of Education | (609) 832-2546 | info@montessoriseeds.com | www.montessoriseeds.org
STAY CONNECTED: